Vermont Moratorium for Tax on Cloud Computing Expires

Vermont has issued a fact sheet discussing cloud computing and advising taxpayers that the legislative moratorium on the Vermont Department of Taxation’s collection of sales tax on prewritten software accessed remotely has not been extended and expires on June 30, 2013. Purchases of prewritten software accessed remotely made before July 1, 2013 are not taxable. Liability for the tax will be incurred beginning July 1, 2013. Vermont businesses are encouraged to finalize any purchases prior to June 30, 2013 to minimize the tax consequences. The department has withdrawn Technical Bulletin TB-54 regarding the treatment of computer software and services and intends to publish regulations to guide taxation in this area. The fact sheet states that prewritten software is taxable regardless of whether it is bought or leased for the customer’s use on a disk or as a download, or accessed on a remote server. A transaction that solely involves custom software, a personal service, or professional service is not taxable. If a vendor has made the same or similar product available on a disk or for download, it remains software subject to sales tax if offered for remote access with essentially the same functionality. The mere addition of help-desk functionality likely would not change the classification from software. For products that are available only by remote access, further factors noted in the fact sheet must be considered to determine the taxability. (Fact Sheet-The Sales and Use Tax Treatment of Cloud Computing, Vermont Department of Taxes, June 2013)

Posted on June 25, 2013